Are Peels Making a Come Back?

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Getting a healthy glow can’t always be achieved at home, even with a thorough beauty regime. Using over the counter exfoliants to sloughing off your dead skin isn’t always enough. It’s now time to step it up a notch with something stronger like a chemical peel.

Since the 90's this treatment has had a bad rap for making your skin raw and blistered, who can forget Samantha’s beet red face after a chemical peel in Sex and the City? “Those days are over,” says Vitahl’s Aesthetician and Laser Specialist, Michelina Quaranta, “they are now formulated smarter, instead of a single acid at a higher strength they are using lower amounts of multiple acids as well as purer ingredients for a better outcome."

A peel will speed up the exfoliation process encouraging increased cell turnover quicker. They can calm rosacea, even out skin tone including acne scars and sun spots, reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They will improve the texture of the skin as well as help control oil production and prevent dead skin from clogging your pores, which in turn means fewer breakouts.

There are different strengths of peels depending on what you want to achieve and also the time of year. Quaranta believes for this time of year try a self-neutralizing PCA Skin Sensi Peel, it’s excellent for sensitive skin, suitable year around and can be customizable to fit the individual’s needs. Because the peel is applied in layers it’s a buildable treatment allowing you to control the strength.

A relatively quick and painless procedure that only takes about half an hour. Your face is cleansed and toned making sure all the oil is removed thus allowing the peel to penetrate into the skin more effectively, for some this may tingle. Next, using a cotton square, the first layer is applied.

Your face can feel warm or again tingle a bit, which is temporary and usually subsides after a few minutes. Your skin will continue to be monitored after each layer. Quaranta uses a small facial fan to help dry and cool down the surface. If the tingling remains relatively low, under a five, on a scale of 1-10 then the next layer is applied, this can be repeated up to four layers. However, if the skin gets very red and irritated or blanches then no more applications will be administered.

Once the layers are completed, a spot treatment of Intensive Pigment Eraser can be applied for any brown spots followed by an Advanced Treatment Booster of retinol, which Quaranta says “will help kick-start the shedding process.” 

Lastly, a calming balm of hydrocortisone and aloe is applied before the ReBalance moisturizer and a mineral based sunscreen. “Stay clear of chemical sunscreens," says Quaranta "instead use natural ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as it won’t irritate the skin.”

On completion, you’re leaving with a glowing (possibly slightly red) face, which you don’t want to wash until the next day and with only lukewarm water. It’s important to remain cool for the next 48 hours, no hot showers, steam rooms, saunas or any excessive perspiration -a perfect excuse not to go to the gym!

You might wonder when the peeling will start. However, despite the name, you won’t actually peel with this treatment. As Sensi peels are gentler on the skin you could experience some light eraser flaking in localized areas, which generally start 48-72 hours after your treatment and can last 2-7 days, but everyone’s experience is slightly different.

Application of the provided ReBalance hydrating moisturizer twice a day is recommended to relieve dryness and control peeling. You can also add a hydrocortisone if the skin starts to feel crepey. It's best to avoid prolonged sun exposure for 7 days and continue to use the mineral sunscreen. After a week you can go back to your usual beauty routine.

TOP TIP: For a cooling and soothing sensation on your face, keep your ReBalance moisturizer in the fridge. Also, you can add PCA Skin’s Intensive Brightening Treatment ($109, to your skincare routine to continue targeting discoloration and promote overall brightening and radiance to the skin. 

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PCA Skin Sensi Peel with Michelina Quaranta, $115, at Vitahl Medical Aesthetics, 1135 W Madison St, 312 634 6100



FASHIONABLE INVITE | Museum of Contemporary Art c/o Virgil Abloh

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WHO Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

WHAT Presents Virgil Abloh | "Figures of Speech,"

WHERE Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago |  220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

WHEN June 10 to September 22, 2019 | Tuesday and Friday 10 am - 9 pm |  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday | 10 am - 5 pm.

Admission | $15

WHY It’s the first-ever museum exhibition devoted to Virgil Abloh’s work, focusing on his creative process and collaborations. What’s most impressive is his vast knowledge of architecture, graphic design, music and fashion, all of which influence his design aesthetic.

 Organized by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling: “An exhibition like this in a major contemporary art museum is the next milestone in the evolution of Virgil’s practice. This show examines the choices Virgil has made, the media he works with, and the context of his artistic inspiration. His projects have unfurled with intention, precision, critique, historical awareness, cultural sensitivity, and rigor, and when taken out of the buzzy, frothy context of luxury fashion, celebrity mannequins, and hip hop one-upmanship, a very measured vision emerges.”


FASHIONABLE INVITE | Louis Vuitton c/o Virgil Abloh Pop Up


WHO Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh |  LV’s Men’s Artistic Director

WHAT A limited-edition collection of ready-to-wear and accessories, designed exclusively for Chicago. All commissioned in orange, these unique pieces disrupt the store’s monochromatic palette, bringing a pigment of urban living inside. The capsule will be sold alongside pieces from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2019 collection.

WHERE 1100 West Randolph |  Chicago

WHEN June 8 th — July 7 th, 2019 | Monday to Thursday 11am – 7pm | Friday to Saturday 11am – 8pm and Sunday 12am – 6pm

Space is limited and reserving an appointment is recommended.

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FASHIONABLE INVITE | Uniqlo Celebrates Sustainability


WHO  Japanese global apparel retailer, UNIQLO

WHAT Chicagoans and visitors are invited to celebrate sustainability through a series of inspiring events for the mind, body, and home this summer.

WHERE Hosted at the flagship store, 830 N Michigan Ave, Chicago

WHEN May 30 – June 2

WHY In partnership with likeminded local experts, the series of events will showcase ways to implement the brand’s values into everyday life and provide opportunities to give back to the community.

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FASHION CONFESSIONS | Jason Wu, Fashion Designer


Who would believe it's nearly a decade since we saw Michelle Obama in the stunning one-shoulder Jason Wu dress at the 2009 inaugural ball. It was a career-defining moment that forever changed his life. Wu would go onto dress many other influential women like The Duchess of Sussex, Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Diane Kruger, and Kerry Washington. Along with designing his eponymous label, Wu also served as Artistic Director of German fashion house Hugo Boss for five years, as well as creating limited edition collections with Target and Eloquii. Last year saw him enter the world of beauty with his first fragrance, and plans to launch his second scent in 2019.

While in town to be honored with the Presidents’ Circle Honors Award from Chicago History Museum’s Costume Council, I had the privilege of interviewing Wu for Splash magazine (which you can read here) but I also threw in some Fashion Junkie questions.


Crazy Rich Asians

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Taiwan, where I’m from

Today for this interview

From my mom, always be a student

Shallow from A Star is Born

Diane Kruger


Maroon 5

Sky diving, it’s both horrifying and exciting

Dirty vodka martini

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When I saw Oprah

Last week

1930s sewing machine that my dad gave me

My phone

Read my full interview with Jason Wu for Splash Magazine.


‘‘Tis the season of giving" as the saying goes...while it's easy to get caught up in the materialistic aspects of the holiday, how many unwanted or pointless gifts do we receive that end up cluttering our home (and then eventually landfills)? Let's avoid bad (and wasteful) gift giving this season by shopping smarter and choosing more meaningful and thoughtful presents. Where to start? Here are some ideas that are rewarding to both the giver and receiver.


Experiences are a good alternative and can be more special in many ways. The trill of a new bag or phone fades while the enjoyment of an adventure lasts. A study from San Francisco State University in 2016 found that experiences more than material things make people happier. Don't feel they have to be extravagant like a luxury trip it's more about creating memories.

See the spectacular Chicago skyline all dressed up for the holidays the same way Santa does with Chicago Helicopter Experience.  Take the Holiday Lights Tours to see stunning views of iconic sites like Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, the John Hancock Center, Michigan Avenue, Willis Tower and Millennium Park. Prices are $149 instead of $179 per person for the month of Dec only.

Other options include iFly, trampoline park, skydiving, sailing, hot air balloon, and zip lining.

Chicago Helicopter Experience
2420 S. Halsted St., Chicago IL 60608

Top to bottom: Collection for a Cause, $50, Provides 408 Meals; Smooth Skin Delights, $35 ,Provides 282 Meals; Kiss Me With Kiehl’s, $25, Provides 205 Meals.

Top to bottom: Collection for a Cause, $50, Provides 408 Meals; Smooth Skin Delights, $35 ,Provides 282 Meals; Kiss Me With Kiehl’s, $25, Provides 205 Meals.

Purchasing a present that gives back to the community or a charity can be a more thoughtful gift.

Continuing its holiday philanthropic tradition, Kiehl’s launched its 10th Annual Limited Edition Charitable Holiday Collection. With the purchase of their whimsical gift set, designed by the artist Andrew Bannecker, Kiehl’s pledges 100% of its net profits, up to $100,000, to a charity. For the fifth year in a row, they’ve partnered with an amazing organization Feeding America®. 40 million people in the US are food insecure and 12 million of those are kids, this donation will help provide 1,000,000 meals to families this holiday season.

I had the honor and privilege of helping Kiehl’s pack meals at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the lunch bags would go to feed students and teachers of Harold Washington College.

Also, shop with Fair Trade companies or buy ethical-made gifts from places like Society B, Ethica, Fair Trade Winds and Accompany.

520 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611,
312- 321-3601

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Feed America

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Learning a new skill can be invaluable so consider buying a loved one lessons for one of their interests. Have they always wanted to learn to play the guitar or dance?  Along with it being thoughtful and rewarding, the act of learning a new skill is fun and they will have broadened their horizons.

For an elegant and informative evening with a drink why not learn more about wine at The Chopping Block? Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned sipper they offer classes for every level with accredited sommeliers. Get a solid foundation in wine tasting and sensory evaluation, that can help you build your wine knowledge and enjoyment. Classes range from $65- $90.

Other options include painting, cooking, dancing, baking, cocktail making, golf and iceskating lessons.

The Chopping Block
Lincoln Park: 4747 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, 773-472-6700
River North: 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-644-6360

FASHIONABLE INVITE | Nike’s All For 1 Studio pop-up

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WHO: Nike

WHAT: A new pop-up experience called “All For 1 Studio”

WHERE: 900 S. Wabash Ave

WHEN: December 7-9, Noon-6 p.m.

Nike’s Air Force 1 has always been synonymous with the city of Chicago. A city where hard work and dedication meets unapologetic style and charisma. In partnership with Girl Gaze, Nike is highlighting the untold stories of six Chicago-based creatives who are a manifestation of this mentality. Join Nike at the All For 1 Studio to celebrate these unsung heroes and the work they do for their community. With a donation of a gently used or new pair of athletic footwear, attendees will be able to unlock a special customization experience.

The Unsung Heroes selected for Chicago as part of this nationwide initiative include: 

·      Malcolm London, Poet, Activist, Educator, Musician. He runs the largest youth open mic in Chicago alongside his friend, Chance The Rapper. 

·      Zaya Sosho, Founder of Future Kingz. A Chicago dance crew recently featured on America’s Got Talent and has performed with Chance the Rapper on the Ellen Degeneres show. 

·     Sara Merabet, Head Buyer for RSVP. She is the only female on staff in a male-dominated industry. 

·     Rachel James, creative director and founder, Pear Nova, a nail polish line. 

·     Rob Valentino, Co-founder, Project Mayhem and best known for pioneering the dip-dyeing craze that has taken over the sneaker industry

·      Natalia Ryshtakova, buyer at Notre. Natalia moved to the US from Belarus three years ago and has begun exploring her other passions as an artist in tattoo design and illustration. 



Join unsung heroes of Chicago for exclusive, one-day only elevated workshop sessions:


Make Your Own Color Session
All for 1: Rachel James 
1 – 3 p.m. 
Make your own nail polish color with Founder of @PEARNOVA Rachel James at the All for 1 Studio.

Future Kingz Dance Session
All for 1: Zaya Sosho
4:30 – 6 p.m. 
Be a part of a community dance class with Chicago natives Zaya Sosho and The Future Kingz at the All for 1 Studio.

Women in Menswear Discussion
All for 1: Sara Merabet & Natallia Ryshtakova
1-3 p.m.
Hear first-hand how Sara and Natallia continue to redefine the male dominated sportswear industry in Chicago and around the world through their unique sense of style at the All for 1 Studio.

Sublimation Session
All for 1: Rob Valentino
1-3 p.m.
Join Rob Valentino and The Project Mayhem crew for a special customization experience at the All for 1 Studio.

Poetry Session
All for 1: Malcolm London
4-6 p.m. 
An intimate poetry workshop with Malcolm London addressing what “All for 1” means to Chicago through art, music and action at the All for 1 Studio.


FASHIONABLE INVITE | Costume Council Honors Designer Jason Wu

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WHO: The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum

WHAT: Fashion designer Jason Wu is honored in the second annual Presidents’ Circle Honors Award

WHERE: Chicago History Museum Woman’s Athletic Club

WHEN:  Friday, November 16, 2018

Tickets start at $250 and tables at $2,500. All proceeds benefit the Costume Council’s support of the Chicago History Museum. For ticket information, please contact Ishan Johnson at 312-799-2118 or at

More information is available online at